KARACHI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordered to continue its investigation against provincial assembly members and bureaucrats by Sindh High Court.

Anti-graft watchdog was directed by the court to continue its investigation till final judgment is announced, while no final report should be presented.

Two identical petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaan (PTI) and civil rights organisations against the recently passed act by Sindh Assembly that repealed the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 were being heard by the court.

 It was claimed that the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) provincial government had introduced this bill to stall the National Accountability Bureau’s inquiries and investigations against bureaucrats and politicians. They said the act was “unlawfully passed without any discussion or debate in the assembly.

The SHC also sought a list of the MPAs who voted to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 besides those provincial assembly members that the NAB is investigating.

Sindh advocate general remarked that under the 18th Amendment, the provincial assembly has powers to pass the bill, while he was arguing over the bill.

Over this, the SHC chief justice remarked that this means the federal anti-corruption court, anti-terrorism courts and anti-narcotics court should be shut down.

Claiming that while the governor has expressed his reservations on the bill and returned it to the legislature for reconsideration, the PPP lawmakers brought “the same unconstitutional bill to the House without any amendment” and got it passed.

They requested the court to declare the entire repeal act “unconstitutional and ultra vires (beyond legal authority) of the constitution” and “no provision of the accountability act overrides or eclipses the inquiry, investigation and proceedings under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999”.

They also requested that the court restrain the anti-graft watchdog’s authorities from transferring their pending inquiries, investigations and references to any other authority in view of the enactment of the repeal act until the petition was disposed of.

The hearing was then adjourned to August 22.